Physician Assistants (PAs) are health-care professionals who practice as part of a team with a physician. PAs exercise autonomy in decision-making and provide a wide range of diagnostic and therapeutic services with physician supervision. The role of the PA includes provision of primary and specialty care in medical and surgical practices located in rural, urban or suburban areas. PA practice is patient-care centered but may include education, research and administrative duties. (Adapted from AAPA, 2013)
The Shenandoah University Physician Assistant Program is a graduate entry-level professional course of study enabling individuals who hold baccalaureate degrees to become PAs. The program is designed to prepare graduates for primary-care practice with emphasis on service to medically underserved populations and the team approach to the delivery of health care. The program integrates graduate-level critical thinking and analysis, problem solving, scientific inquiry, self-directed learning and the effective use of modern technology for professional practice that includes elements of research, leadership, education and continued enhancement of the PA profession.
Looking for more information on the PA profession and applying for admissions? Check out a great resource the Physician Assistant Education Association has created for PA school applicants and other prospective PA students – PA Focus. You’ll find a wealth of information about applying to PA programs, paying for school, CASPA, and much more, including a blog that will be updated regularly. Another source of information is the Physician Assistant Career Guide.
If you have questions or need further information about financial aid, please contact the Financial Aid Office.
Through the generosity of alumni, community friends and foundations, the Shenandoah University PA program is able to provide several scholarships each year. Additional information regarding SU, as well as private and professional association scholarships, will be provided at orientation. Candidates interested in exploring loan repayment opportunities through the National Health Service Corps scholarships should call NHSC at (800) 221-9393 or visit the NHSC Web site.
Full Admission Status
Candidates with all prerequisites completed will be recommended for full acceptance.
Provisional Admission Status
Candidates with outstanding requirements will be recommended for provisional acceptance. Circumstances which may result in provisional admission include:
- An applicant with a bachelor’s degree in progress. An official transcript showing the degree conferral must be received prior to May 31.
- An applicant who has any prerequisite courses to complete at the time of application may be admitted with conditional status. The remaining prerequisites are to be completed by May 15 with official transcript received by May 31. Typically, students with more than two outstanding prerequisites are less competitive.
- An applicant with an undergraduate cumulative grade point average (GPA) science, or SU prerequisite GPA less than 3.0 but greater than 2.80, and who has completed a minimum of 15 semester hours of relevant graduate work with a 3.0 or better GPA may be admitted with conditional status.
Shenandoah was my first choice from the very beginning when deciding to become a PA. The prestige of the program, coupled with the warm, positive atmosphere makes Shenandoah an obvious choice. There is a focus on life-long learning, volunteerism, and an interprofessional approach to medicine. I am confident that I will not only be a confident PA, but an overall better person after this experience.
Amber Beckman ’17
I chose Shenandoah, mainly because it has been a second home since attending the undergraduate biology program. The faculty, staff, and students are all a part of a family and provide a great support system. I never feel that I do not have the encouragement or support that I need. Shenandoah stands for academic integrity, honesty, and good character. They not only provide opportunities for community service, but encourage it as well. Additionally, the PA program is one of the best in the country and the program prepares students for clinical practice from the beginning.
Dustin Bogan ’16
I chose Shenandoah primarily because of the family atmosphere and the genuine interest that everyone expressed in the success of one another. This has proven more and more true during my time here: there is no concern over your class rank, no (serious) grade competition, and everyone is more than willing to help you if you ask. I also chose Shenandoah because of the very balanced approach to education. Sure, there is a heavy focus on medical knowledge, but the commitment to work outside in the community, to missions, to professional and personal growth. Nowhere else had I seen such a holistic mentality and it has most certainly helped prepare me to be the best PA I can be.”
Brian Collins ’16
I decided on Shenandoah because of its excellence in pass rates, the inviting and friendly atmosphere from the staff and students, and the emphasis they place on outreach and global missions. I believe this university integrates my two passions: medicine and serving others through missions. They provide a comprehensive foundation for primary care and present many volunteer opportunities, preparing me to pursue my skills in any location or setting. Throughout my time at school, I constantly feel welcomed, encouraged, and confident that I chose the best career.”
Joshua Harris ’15
I chose SU because of their superior dedication to provide medical service in rural or underserved communities. The facility, atmosphere, and welcoming faculty and students further led to my choice to attend SU. I believe this program can assist in taking my aspirations to serve the less fortunate groups of people to the next level, and I am incredibly happy with my decision. “
Emily Engel ’14
SUPA allowed me opportunity to grow both academically and professionally. While studying occupied much of my time, I also participated in the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) nationally. I attended the AAPA national conference two years in a row, and was elected to several positions that showed me the inner workings of our most important professional organization. I was well prepared to join the Air Force when I graduated.”
Ricky Martin, PA-C ’11
I researched many PA schools around the country during my initial planning process of applying to Physician Assistant schools. I wanted a program that was small, personal and highly ranked in the academic community. In 2011, Shenandoah University ranked 22 out of over 123 PA schools by U.S. News and World Report. Our class size was 43, talk about personal attention! When I interviewed at Shenandoah University, I fell in love with the personal environment and the faculty’s passion for teaching their students. All of the faculty members are certified physician assistants that practiced medicine before they began teaching. Throughout your training, you will hear personal stories and lessons learned during their time as practicing PAs to enrich your learning experience. This program has an annual mission trip to Nicaragua that is an amazing opportunity to practice medicine as an early student. The education you receive from Shenandoah University will set you apart from your colleagues. The faculty will push you to perform at your highest potential. When you graduate from this program, you WILL be prepared for whatever field of medicine you choose. I currently work as an emergency medicine physician assistant in North Carolina and I couldn’t be happier.”
Jessica Elder PA-C ’10
Shenandoah University was my only choice for PA school! Approaching my senior year in college, I found myself wondering what would be my next step. Although I had majored in chemistry, I knew I wanted a career in medicine. Shenandoah University offered a friendly group of faculty and staff that encouraged an environment of learning. Despite the tough journey through PA school, it was all worth it. Not only did I attain a degree to practice medicine, but I also experienced the wonders of mission work in Nicaragua. During my second year, I served a vital role on the women’s health team treating patients and mentoring first year students. I currently work at the National Institutes of Health in the Undiagnosed Diseases Program, which requires a broad range of knowledge. I have no doubt in my mind that Shenandoah University has been the best choice in preparing me for my career.”
Candice Moreland PA-C ’10
I was attracted to Shenandoah’s program because of the personal teaching environment that was very much the opposite of the large lectures I encountered during my undergraduate education. The University’s location provides a small town feel but is still in close proximity to Washington D.C. The Physician Assistant program provides many opportunities for students and having classes at Winchester Medical Center allows interactions with doctors, PAs, and patients at one of the top hospital centers in the country. Through the student society I serve as the House of Delegate’s representative in the AAPA and have the opportunity to represent Shenandoah University at the national conference. I am very happy with my decision to attend the Physician Assistant program at Shenandoah, and am certain that the program will give me all I need and more to succeed as a Physician Assistant.”
Marilyn Radcliffe PA-C ’09
After earning my undergraduate degree, my heart was set on becoming a physician assistant. I knew Shenandoah University was the right choice for me after researching the program and speaking with SU faculty and students at my interview session. I respected the program’s mission to support job placement in underserved communities, and its honorable first time pass rate on the national certification examination. Throughout my time at SU, the faculty and staff were always willing to assist me in any time of need. I am proud to have been a part of the PA program at SU!”
Whitney Morris, PA-C ’08
During my interviews for PA school, I fell in love with Shenandoah University The faculty, staff and students were so kind, caring, and willing to answer any questions that I had. Shenandoah University became my first choice. After being accepted into the program, I quickly learned that Shenandoah University would change my life. With the help of my professors and peers, I was able to gain the knowledge and skills that I needed in order to become a successful PA. I was also able to expand my knowledge even further on a medical mission trip to Leon, Nicaragua. Upon graduation I felt prepared for the working world. I now work in a primary care office in rural southwest Virginia. My patients and colleagues feel comfortable with my clinical knowledge. I would definitely recommend Shenandoah University to anyone looking to become a PA!”
Jaime Few PA-C ’08
The comfortable setting at my interview, along with the tour of the facility, helped me realize that Shenandoah was the only place I wanted to be. So far, the program has offered me a positive learning environment and a supportive network of peers.”
Kelly Grubb PA-C ’07
The curriculum at Shenandoah University provided me with all the skills I needed to feel confident entering the work force. I was able to obtain a position in the field of my choice prior to graduation knowing I would be ready for the responsibilities of patient care.”
Rebecca Rosemann PA-C ’04